...according to Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant, the commander of Canadian forces in that country.
In fact, I think we can say with 99.9999% certainty that they won't be. And that they won't be ready in 2019 either, nor 2029. You know when they'll be ready? After the sun goes supernova!
If Canada waits until the Afghanis are able to stand up before we stand down (to paraphrase Bush Jr.), we will be spilling Canadian blood and money over there forever. And in just three to five more years all of our army's equipment will be worn down from the desert sand and nobody that isn't blood-thirsty, mongoloid, or insane will want to join up. Gen. Hillier's scheme to get our army some practise for the real wars of the future will have wound up breaking it instead. Something similar is happening RIGHT NOW South of the border, something that even the most right wing of the right wing crazies are beginning to realize.
Dion is right to want to call this stupid thing off by 2009, and you know he's read the nation correctly (and the pundits and the blo-vators in the blogosphere have not) by the fact that Harper is too chickenshit to make this issue a matter of confidence. He'd be crazy to fight an election on Canadian participation in the Afghanistan campaign, and he knows it.